Las Vegas-Desire-FINAL

6 10 2010

When the cities lie at the monster’s feet there are left the mountains

I do not have much more to say about Las Vegas (at least I think not–at least the me that is me this moment does not)

I write on my lap

I did want to mention the “ghost town” of Bonnie Springs, Northwest of Vegas, near Red Rock Canyon.

the wind rocking the wagon

I wanted to be in a ghost town on this trip; Bonnie Springs was convenient.  But “ghost” is a bit of a stretch (as is “town”).  I didn’t feel the ghostliness I wanted.  Or rather, I only felt it in brief flashes, in the mustiness of the old schoolroom and in the vision of the rows upon rows of old shoes.


My great-great-grandmother must have worn shoes like these when she traveled East to West in a covered wagon.  I tried to make her come and stand near me by imagining her.  She didn’t come but I felt someone else standing near me because I knew the owners of these shoes were very dead.

there was no way of digging graves in the sunbaked ground

so the bodies were placed beneath a great pile of rocks

They were there and they were desire–and this is my last expression in these posts of Las Vegas and Desire.  For in Las Vegas, the oldest hotels are shabby and run down, despite being spit-shined.  Perhaps the ghosts live in their shabbiness but I’ve never felt them.  And generally, at least according to the guy that sat next to me on the plane home, once they’re 50 years old, the buildings are demolished and new shiny casino-hotels are built in their place so all the old ghosts have been chased out of the city.

They found the girl in her bark dress seated on the river bank

At the approach of white men

she buried herself in sand

And Las Vegas was also chasing the ghosts away from Bonnie Springs.  Though it was once a stop for wagon trains it is now a three-ringed circus complete with little kiddie train and petting zoo.  The rooms are staged with dummies or actors and the graveyard is made of wooden “stones” inscribed with the gimmicky epitaphs available in every drugstore’s halloween section.

she was a grieving, unsatisfied woman who somehow shook ones’ belief in civilization

I suppose I might explore more deeply my wild desire for connection to ghosts.  But I won’t go into detail now.  Suffice it to say that this isn’t a desire for a Madame Blavotsky style communion with the dead.  It is a desire for union with time.

we could not erase the wildlife

from her heart

quotes from Robinson Jeffers and Women’s Diaries of the Westward Journey





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